If you recall, Fool's Gold Day Off (aka the biggest party of the summer, aka your best chance of becoming BFFs with Danny Brown) returns to 50 Kent (Kent Ave. and North 12th St.) on September 1 before it spins off into a multi-city mega-tour hitting Toronto, L.A., Atlanta and Miami this fall.
It's back. Since 2010, Labor Day's greatest tradition (eating potato salad in the Hamptons isn't a tradition) is dancing up a sweat at the New York installment of Fool's Gold Day Off, the all-day, feel-good, can-this-really-be-happening concert curated by its titular Brooklyn-based record label. We're psyched to welcome the party (and we do mean party) to 50 Kent (Kent Ave. and North 12 St.) on Monday, September 1 as part of the Northside Summer Concert Series.
When Grimes’ first new song in two years hit the Internet a couple weeks ago, it was furiously marketed as a track Rihanna rejected, a PR move with obvious SEO appeal and rank cynicism. For Grimes's Claire Boucher, it seemed unintentionally self-depricating. Somehow, trying and failing to produce a suitable pop hit for an established star was some new form of underground credibility? Such is the odd moment we’re in, where the sounds of chart pop have so thoroughly bled into what’s considered cutting edge that there’s hardly a meaningful distinction between the two. If all that meant was a surplus of A-plus pop songs, then...terrific. More often, we’re getting stuff that’s the worst of both worlds: not catchy enough to hit right away, nor interesting enough to reward extended consideration.
Several songs into White Lung's set, a young woman in the crowd near me started throwing frantic, undirected air punches. Fists swirled up and around her in wild loops that connected occasionally, semi-randomly to surrounding arms and shoulders. Her intent was to clear a circle of space in a building mosh pit, but it didn't seem to be directed in retaliation to anyone specific, or born from real rage. A few seconds later she was calm, happy, beaming up at singer Mish Way. Way's band had filled Greenpoint metal club Saint Vitus, for a show marking the release of their widely acclaimed third album, Deep Fantasy. The record pairs its full-speed punk/metal riffs with bright, bruised vocal melody to form a bleak blur that's seriously angry in intent, but pretty fun in effect. It's the biggest sound they've managed yet, by a solid margin. The room was sold out well in advance, though not overpacked to the point of discomfort. Stalking the stage, surveying the chaos, head-banging her grunge-blonde hair, Way seemed coziest of all.
It was a bummer when rain came and washed away Friday night's much anticipated Northside show featuring War on Drugs, Woods, and Julianna Barwick. It was crushing, even. But now here we are two days later, and it feels very much like it was a blessing in disguise. The show has been moved to tonight, effectively making today a strong contender for Best Day Ever, as you now have the chance to spend the first half of it at McCarren Park for the free CHVRCHES show before heading over to 50 Kent for a fitting, glorious end to the weekend. Set times are the same as they were for Friday, but the gates will now open at 6pm instead of 5pm. Tickets are available here.
The War on Drugs 8:30pm
Julianna Barwick 6:45pm
Gates at 6pm
For a guy who made a concept record following a soul's escape from a post-death body falling into decay, Bobby Krlic is a pretty chipper. Excavation, the critically acclaimed album he released last year under his recording name, The Haxan Cloak, is a beautifully dark and mildly terrifying thing. It's grand sweep and gut-churning physical effect takes over any space it's played in. If pumped it into your head via earbuds, it could turn a mid-day stroll in the park into a harrowing existential search. Earlier this year, Haxan Cloak collaborated with veteran sludge-metal band, The Body, for another morose, cathartic record, I Shall Die Here. Again, hardly polite brunch music. But the way Krlic talks about his work—thoughtfully with good cheer—makes you feel like this pitch-black purging might be healthy, a doom therapy of sorts.
The Haxan Cloak make a rare New York City live appearance this weekend, at the appropriately spooky Masonic Temple in in Fort Greene. He'll support German techno artist Robert Henke, in another of Red Bull Music Academy's wild slate of May festival shows. We chatted with Krlic over Skype, as he relaxed at his parents' house in the English countryside, birds chirping audibly in the background. We talked about the terrifying noises that he's made in domestic comfort, how streaming services put his bleak music into odd context, and where The Haxan Cloak goes from here.
Tonight, dance crews representing four different styles and eras of club music will take over Greenpoint’s Brooklyn Bazaar, filling every corner of that big room with competing beats and the weirdly specific gyrations each might trigger. Like many dance-floor freak outs before it, this one will be fueled by Red Bull. The event, dubbed the “Bounce Ballroom” is the first of many put on this month by The Red Bull Music Academy, a high-brow combination of academic salon and experimental art fair, all funded by hyperactive teens’ and drowsy business dudes’ beverage of choice.
SCOTT IAN (Anthrax): Metallica were the only ones there in the middle of the night at the Music Building [in Queens] in their shitty room drinking beer. [Guitarist Dave] Mustaine would get super-drunk and fuck with other people’s rehearsal rooms. A band would show up the next day and there’d be a mountain of garbage piled up in front of their door because Mustaine would go get all the garbage cans and dump them in front of the practice room door of a band he didn’t like. Of course, everybody knows who did it because Metallica was the only band there overnight. Once, Metallica was opening for the Rods and Vandenberg at L’Amour. Vandenberg is sound checking at 4pm and Dave is ripped. He’s screaming at Adrian Vandenberg, “Get the fuck off the stage. You suck.” And the other dudes in the band are trying to run and hide. Metallica didn’t even have a record out yet.
The show, like with CHVRCHES on June 15, is all-ages and will happen rain or shine. Entry is first-come, first-served with a required RSVP, so make sure you head here on Friday, April 25 when they open to the public at noon. As always, Premium and Music badge-holders are guaranteed a spot at both McCarren Park shows, so there's no need to RSVP if you purchase a badge. (Rest assured, you'll automatically have a spot at the show.) Buy badges right here. Gates for Thee Oh Sees swing wide at 1pm, with the first band (TBA) on at 2pm, so show up early and grab a front-and-center spot. Let's see if you can out-sweat frontman John Dwyer. (Our money is on Dwyer.)
There are things scarier than horror movies. Sidelined for a big chunk of last year with chronic strep throat, Animal Collective’s Avey Tare began to question the longevity of his music’s signature—that always ecstatic scream. A now fit Tare (or Dave Portner to his pals) rebounded by forming Slasher Flicks, a less-dense but still loopy new psych band. The fright flick-inspired group, featuring ex-Dirty Projectors’ singer Angel Deradoorian and ex-Ponytail drummer Jeremy Hyman, will adorn the Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan with copious day-glo skulls tonight, playing in support of their trippy new record, Enter the Slasher House. Its songs have wobbly edges not unlike Animal Collective, but the trio swirl them out from a pop center that's a bit neater than the recent work of Tare's more famous band. We talked with Avey about the mental impact of last year’s health struggles, why Animal Collective are more like the Grateful Dead than the Avengers, and the more subtle horror of stuff getting stuck in your head.
Take a trip down memory lane as we check out past performances from the bands returning to this year's Northside Fest roster.
The War On Drugs have come a long way since Wagonwheel Blues, their debut album that was the first and last to include Kurt Vile. While the latter has gone on to achieve solo success, Adam Granduciel and his Drugs have found similar fortune, releasing their third album to critical and audience acclaim. With Granduciel channeling the era of Dylan our generation was denied, it's music that makes you crave a car and a smoke and a long drive.
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